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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    China Snakes Its Way To Reform

    As the year of the dragon gives way to that of the snake, and China’s old leaders prepare to give way to incoming president and premier Xi Jinping and Li Keqiang at next month’s national congress, the big question continues to be whether or not China is making headway in the effort to rebalance its economy from an investment-led to a consumption-led orientation. Our answer is yes.

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    Gavekal Research

    A Perfect Storm In Europe?

    Last week we argued that the most likely scenario for Europe was a messy and rather boring muddle-through, where the biggest risk was not a reprise of the euro crisis but prolonged stagnation. No sooner did that missive go out than Spanish premier Mariano Rajoy was engulfed by allegations of getting payouts from a party slush fund. Spanish bond yields have risen by 50 basis points over the last two weeks, with nearly half that move coming...

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    Gavekal Research

    Muddle-Through Europe: For How Long?

    A year ago, the choice in Europe seemed clear: either set a clear course for fiscal union, or let the common currency blow up. Yet somehow Europe avoided making a tough choice, settled for a murky muddle-through path – and markets applauded. European equities had a fine year, the euro has perked up to $1.35, and ten-year sovereign bond yields for two of the riskiest major economies, Italy and Spain, have settled around 4% and 5% respectively....

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    Gavekal Research

    Now That The World Hasn't Ended, What Next?

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    Gavekal Research

    Nineteen Books For Your Holiday Reading

    Long-time readers know that that at GaveKal we write quite a few books and read even more. With luck, subscribers will already have received this year’s holiday gift: a copy of Tom Miller’s new book China’s Urban Billion: The Story Behind the Biggest Migration in Human History (see here). Tom has worked for years at GK Dragonomics in Beijing, edits our China Economic Quarterly publication, and spent much of the last two years scouring rural and...

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    Gavekal Research

    Ben Bernanke, Control Engineer

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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    China Economic Quarterly December 2012 - State-owned Enterprises

    One of the most persistent claims made about China’s economy is that an embattled private sector is getting squeezed out by increasingly powerful state-owned enterprises. This claim does not stand up to the evidence: private companies have increased their share of virtually every economic indicator, from exports to employment to bank credit. But that does not mean all is well in corporate China. Though large in aggregate, private firms remain...

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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    CEQ Q4 2012 - Role Of The State Sector: Still In Retreat, But Getting Bigger

    One of the most persistent claims made about China’s economy in recent years is that an embattled private sector is getting squeezed out by the nation’s increasingly powerful state-owned enterprises (SOEs). Domestic critics, using the phrase guojin mintui (“advance of the state, retreat of the private sector”), warn that high-speed economic growth is threatened by the rising share of resources gobbled up by inefficient SOEs. Foreign analysts and...

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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    CEQ Q4 2012 - Economic Survey

    This year the conversation about the Chinese economy’s sharp slowdown has degenerated into an increasingly irrelevant debate. Bears alternately claim that China is collapsing, or that it is only supported by government stimulus that will lead to a bigger collapse later. Beleaguered bulls promise that recovery is just around the corner, when a renewed government stimulus will finally take effect. Both the bears and bulls are wrong, because they...

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    Gavekal Research

    Four More Years

    The American electorate may share the same national bed, but they have vastly different dreams. Our take on the election’s significance is similarly bifurcated—a cathartic political cleansing allowing for a deal on the fiscal cliff (Anatole) to disaster (Charles). Arthur asks whether the Republican Party can win nationally without reconciling itself to America’s changed demographics and the realities of the new knowledge-intense economy. Will...

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    Gavekal Research

    RMB: More Volatility, Less Direction

    Whither the renminbi? Movements in China’s currency have become more difficult to understand lately. For much of the first half of this year the unit depreciated, reversing a trend established in 2005 of annual 5% appreciation against the US dollar. But in the last couple of months it has trended up sharply, reaching a 19-year high of 6.25 against the dollar.

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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    From Cheesecake To Broccoli: China's New Diet

    This year the conversation about the Chinese economy’s sharp slowdown has degenerated into an increasingly irrelevant debate. Bears alternately claim that China is collapsing, or that it is only supported by government stimulus that will lead to a bigger collapse later. Beleaguered bulls promise that recovery is just around the corner, when a renewed government stimulus will finally take effect. Both the bears and bulls are wrong, because they...

    2
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    Gavekal Research

    China Is Changing: Get Used To It

    The latest round of Chinese economic news prompted predictable reactions. Pessimists gloated that the slowdown in industrial production and investment continues. Optimists jumped on the publication of a mass of infrastructure project approvals by the state planning agency as proof that a stimulus-led recovery is imminent. Pessimists retorted that the new stimulus simply shows China hasn’t kicked its fatal addiction to capital intensive growth.

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    Gavekal Research

    Quarterly Strategy Chart Book: The Liquidity Dams

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    Gavekal Research

    GaveKal Five Corners—Asia

    For years it was fashionable to bemoan the scourge of “hot money” inflows into China. Now, with China’s foreign exchange reserves registering falls in three of the last four months, it is fashionable to talk about “hot money” flowing out of China. Another bit of evidence for the coming collapse of China? Hardly.

    0
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    Gavekal Research

    Arthur Presents At Our June 26, 2012 NY Seminar

    At our recent seminar in New York, Arthur discussed why anecdotal evidence of China's economic strife does not necessarily reflect the bigger picture. Those interested can see his presentation attached.

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    Gavekal Research

    China Rate Cut Signals Reform

    Comment on China’s 25bp interest rate cut has mostly focused on the impact on short-term growth prospects. This misses the point. The true significance of yesterday’s announcement lay in the loosening of restrictions on both lending and deposit rates. Interest rate liberalization—a crucial part of the effort to make growth sustainable and balanced—is clearly under way, although progress will be slow and incremental.

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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    CEQ Q2 2012 - Books

    China’s spectacular economic rise over the past decade has generated a great deal of strategic anxiety in foreign capitals and particularly in Washington DC. A thriving cottage industry has sprung up around trum*peting the ominous import of China’s military build-up and Beijing’s supposed intent to remake or upset the world order. Many such fore*casts—often driven by bureaucratic imperatives to justify ever-larger defense budgets—rely on...

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    Gavekal Research

    Winners And Losers In Transitional China

    Once again, China’s economy and markets are a study in contradictions. As tomorrow’s Q1 GDP report will likely show, growth is slowing from the torrid pace of recent years, but at the margin much recent economic news has been better than expected. The dramatic growth collapse long predicted by gloomsters such as Jim Chanos has failed to materialize. A friend who recently made the rounds of China forecasters found that despite their violent...

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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    Rich Banks, Poor Shareholders

    Judging by their profit statements, Chinese banks are flourishing: net profit at the “big five” banks that control nearly two-thirds of the nation’s deposits rose by 19-30% last year. ICBC earned US$32bn, or about $5bn more than JPMorgan Chase. All this despite worries about competition from the irrepressible “shadow finance” sector (see The Shadow Knows...) and a mountain of non-performing loans from the 2009-10 lending spree. Reported NPL...

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